If you’re not living under a rock, then you’ve probably heard about the impeachment hearings that are going on in the United States at the moment. Every News site is covering it as if it’s going to be the final thing that’s finally going to get rid of Donald Trump and save the day! Or… is it?
You might be confused if you have been following the news. Hasn’t impeachment been talked about for years now? Wasn’t there a Russia spy involved along the way? What on Earth is going on with Ukraine at the moment, and why does anyone care? What ever happened to that story about Trump being pissed on by prostitutes while playing at an online casino, or something? Asking for a friend…
What I’m going to do is try to break down three years of political circus, so you get to the bottom line of what on Earth is happening in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.
Let me take a step back and say that I am not objective. I have a bias. So if it sounds like I’m framing events in favor of Trump… I kind of am. I didn’t vote for him in 2016, but not because I thought he was some sort of Russian Agent. So having followed the news and the hearings and the allegations, I came to the conclusion that, based on the available evidence (or lack thereof), Trump is a bit of a dick, but not a criminal in any way, shape, or form.
What the heck are these impeachment hearings anyway? In short, they’re the start of a process that the American Congress can enact to remove the sitting President (sort of like a vote of no-confidence here in the UK).
Keep in mind that, unlike in the UK where the Parliament chooses the PM, the American President is NOT selected by Congress, but by the American people who vote for a president through a system known as the Electoral College (a massive topic in and of itself, which I won’t be getting into here).
Now in the American system, Congress is broken down into two houses, the House of Representatives and the Senate. Each of them gets to set up their own hearings and councils, which will call forward witnesses and hear testimony to determine the validity of the evidence, and then they each vote whether to move forward with the impeachment proceedings.
It is important to note that these Impeachment Hearings are NOT criminal investigations, which is a specific legal definition. A president does not have to commit a crime to be impeached, technically. Back in the 1990s, President Bill Clinton was nearly impeached over his scandal with Monica Lewinski.
So impeachment hearings can include criminal investigation, but they are not required.
The Trump-Russia Collusion
Donald Trump has perhaps been one of the most polarizing Presidents to step into the office. He’s brash, narcissistic, and he has no filter. In short, elitists and aristocrats hate him, and the public loves him (Just check his approval ratings).
The first significant controversy that raised calls for impeachment was the Mueller investigation, which was triggered by the Steele Dossier. The Steele Dossier was a report that outlined how Russia meddled in the American Election in order to elect Donald Trump as President. Why? Because apparently Donald Trump, the big-business, American, Capitalist, is a Russian Spy of some sort.
So the Mueller investigation was opened to investigate if the allegations were in any way accurate. Robert Mueller spent two and a half years examining Trump while keeping his cards close to his chest- one of the most prolonged investigations into any President’s background ever. After years of research, he released his report: There was no conclusive evidence that Donald Trump colluded with the Russian Government to win the election. Of course, as Robert Mueller himself put it, “[The Mueller Report] doesn’t prove that Trump is innocent.”
This is technically true, but the whole concept of a Fair and Legal Process relies on proving that someone isn’t innocent. Innocent until Proven Guilty, and all that. So, as CNN’s Van Jones put it (when recorded secretly by Project Veritas), the Russia-Collusion is just a big “Nothingburger.”
The Ukraine Call, Quid Pro Quo?
Quid Pro Quo is some big fancy Latin lingo that I had never heard of before suddenly it was being used by everyone to discuss Trump’s call with President Zelenskyy, of Ukraine. It basically means “a favor for a favor.”
The way it’s being used is to describe President Trump as if he’s some Italian mobster, demanding an exchange of “favors.” In this case, the media is trying to claim that Donald Trump is demanding that Ukraine investigate Joe Biden. Otherwise, he’ll withhold US funds for Ukraine. The source of such a claim comes from a call President Trump made to President Zelenskyy.
Except… the White House released the entire transcript of the call. You can google it and read it all for yourself. President Trump never insinuates that he will withhold funds if he doesn’t get his way. President Zelenskyy himself has come out and said that he was never pressured like that.
So who are the witnesses being interviewed at the Impeachment hearings, and for what?
Well, they’re all third or even fourth party sources. People who heard other people say that Trump did something wrong. Now, that may sound like hearsay and unreliable testimony… and you’d be absolutely correct.
In short, none of the charges against Trump have panned out. They’re all based on either misleading information or outright lies. I believe, and most of the public seems to believe (based on the atrocious ratings these hearings are getting), that all of this is just political circus from politicians who were promising to impeach Trump before he even stepped into office.